Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Preseason Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics

Welcome back, friends! When last we met, your Knicks were unceremoniously shuffling away from the scene of an anticlimacitc stale fart of a playoff series loss at the hands of Lance Stephenson and the Indiana Pacers while we yelled angrily from the terraces about JR Smith’s poor decision-making and Coach Mike Woodson’s abandonment of two-point-guard lineups. Which is to say, exactly the same things we’re doing now.

The Knicks take the court tonight for their preseason debut without their mercurial Sixth Man of the Year, suspended for using medicinal marijuana to regenerate tissue in his knee and setting a horrible example for America’s children or something. Similarly absent: any indication that tonight’s starting lineup (Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Andrea Bargnani, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler) will survive the return of Iman Shumpert, the cubically-coiffed wing who will sit with a shoulder injury but is widely expected to unseat Prigioni as soon as he’s ready to go. For many, this confirms a fear that has persisted since erstwhile GM Glen Grunwald sent some draft picks with a side of Novak to Toronto for former top pick Bargnani — namely, that the Knicks’ disproportionate allocation of salary commitments (and arguably talent) in the frontcourt spells doom for the types of lineups that proved most successful in the team’s banner 2012-13 campaign. To this end, it would be great to see Felton and Prigs run roughshod around the new-look (read: pretty bad) Celtics this evening in the hopes that they might jog the memories of all concerned. Ultimately, however, the presence of both Bargs and Amare Stoudemire might make for a frontcourt rotation whose appearance of depth persuades Woodson to confine Smith and Shumpert to the 2 and Anthony to the 3. Empirical evidence suggests that this would be unfortunate. On the other hand, Bargnani was good when Chris Bosh was on his team so he’ll probably be good now since Chris Bosh is on the Knicks. Or something.

Anyway, these are concerns that I will have a whole season to worry about and you will have a whole season to tell me that I’m wrong about. Tonight is all fun and games and me being mad that Pierce and Garnett bailed on the Celtics as soon as we got good enough to beat the crap out of them in their twilight years. Que sera, will be.

Russell! Reed! Havlicek! DeBuscherre! Bird! Ewing! Gerald Wallace! Andrea Bargnani! Colton Iverson! Ike Diogu! You know, Basketball!

44 comments on “Preseason Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics

  1. ruruland

    Creating a foul on the box-out w/out getting rebound against excellent offensive rebounder — the kind of play that allows you to have one of the highest active career +/- with poor individual statistics.

  2. lavor postell

    I really think Hardaway Jr. is going to benefit a lot from a change in shot distribution. If he emerges as a viable rotation player that may give us the ability to make a productive move via trade.

  3. maxwell_3g

    im still trying to get my mind around shump’s new hairstyle. it almost looks like football helmet head

  4. ephus

    Wearing 77, Bargnani moves with the grace of Muresan on the defensive perimeter. I can’t see him defending stretch 4s, let alone 3s.

  5. Business Socks

    Shump. Shump.

    Love the way the offense is consistently getting good/open looks.
    Defense… needs some work, especially in transition.

  6. ruruland

    er: yup off of open looks too smh

    Taking up space, blocking out and grabbing rebounds in the paint. The shooting SHOULD come if he’s healthy and regains confidence (he’ll go on some major runs when he does I’m sure.)

    I’m more focused on how he’s handling the scheme and holding up as a power forward.

  7. maxwell_3g

    ive got to admit, although I don’t like bargs’ three point shot, he does drive it better than I thought

  8. EB

    er:
    bargs is playing ok , he just needs to hit those catch and shoot 3s

    He also came free on the Melo-Bargs PnR for that dunk. I hope to see more of that!

  9. ruruland

    One of the reasons to expect Bargs efficiency to rise, all other things being equal, alomst all of his touches in this game have come near the three point line against a slower big. He’s great at wrong-footing bigger defenders and drawing fouls.

    Even though he’s a solid post-up and isolation player, cutting back a significant portion of those plays will make a big difference in his numbers, if that’s what we want to focus on.

    Hasn’t run a single isolation this game. Everything is coming on the catch where he makes quick decisions and typically the right ones.

  10. ruruland

    Also, pretty obvious THJ is a plus defender. Not sure how to work him in when everyone’s healthy.

  11. er

    EB: He also came free on the Melo-Bargs PnR for that dunk. I hope to see more of that!

    That was real purty, they took their time and ran the play. I have been impressed with melos distributing this game and not his shot go figure

  12. Unreason

    ruruland: pretty obvious THJ is a plus defender

    ? I hope so, but how can you tell so soon?

    I am astonished by how little animosity I feel toward this Celtic team. The Knicks might as well be playing against Barcelona.

  13. ruruland

    Unreason: ? I hope so, but how can you tell so soon?

    I am astonished by how little animosity I feel toward this Celtic team. The Knicks might as well be playing against Barcelona.

    Sinks his hips and has good lateral movement. Good fundamental stance. Maybe too soon to speculate, but shows the basics of being a plus defender. Obviously much of being a good defender is anticipating what offenses are doing + consistent effort, and we probably won’t know about those for awhile.

  14. ruruland

    THJ’s game holding true so far… Really good catching-and-shooting. Haven’t seen him try to create which is probably a good thing.

  15. er

    Man i know the C’s suck but the knick second half d has been suffocating. And yess thj has a great J

  16. JK47

    This one has been fun to watch– Shumpert’s J looks better than ever, and THJ’s is looking pretty sweet too. There were a couple of nice plays earlier where MWP showed great lateral movement on D– he still moves his feet really well. I like what I’ve seen from Cole Aldrich too; he’s playing within himself and not fouling.

    Encouraging start to the preseason for sure.

  17. ruruland

    er:
    Man i know the C’s suck but the knick second half d has been suffocating. And yess thj has a great J

    I don’t think the C’s will totally suck. With Rondo I think they’ll push for the 8th seed. Should still be good defensively and it’s not as though they got fleeced by Nets, adding Humphries, Wallace (better defender than Pierce) and Marshon Brooks (who should be much better than Jason Terry was last season).

  18. JK47

    ruruland:
    I think Aldrich can be about as effective as Thomas or Wallace was last year, no?

    Yeah, I think so. Aldrich seems like a real good fit here to me– has the legit center size, rebounds well, plays physical defense, isn’t a total zero on offense. He’s missed some dunks and bunnies in this game but historically he’s been an efficient scorer and you can see why. He’s strong and fast for a guy his size. You could do a lot worse for a backup center.

  19. nicos

    I’m not sure about Aldritch. Not much lateral movement defensively- I’m not sure if he can defend in space. He can rebound and set screens but he looks like an 10th guy at best.

  20. BigBlueAL

    Gonna be hard for me to root for someone named Tim Hardaway lol. Nice moment for the kid tonight though.

  21. ruruland

    nicos:
    I’m not sure about Aldritch. Not much lateral movement defensively- I’m not sure if he can defend in space.He can rebound and set screens but he looks like an 10th guy at best.

    Good motor though.

  22. lavor postell

    Very early but this team is scary deep at virtually every position other than a legitimate defensive anchor behind Tyson. Aldrich flashed some signs but he still has a long way to go before we can depend on him to provide chandler and Kmart with breathers.

    Our depth from 1-4 though is unreal. Felton melo shump world peace bargnani prigs jr stat (when/if healthy) beno and thj look like they will see time on the regular season given injuries and matchups. I don’t really care about the regular season outside of Woodson figuring out what lineups work in what situations.

    Really early but a lot of good vibes from what we saw tonight.

  23. Z-man

    My thoughts in 3 words per player:
    Melo: good as new
    Chandler: hit a jumper
    Felton: slim, quick, tough
    Prigs: tan, steady, pro
    Bargs: six free throws
    Shump: seven for seven
    MWP: versatile offensive game
    Udrih: bigger than advertised
    TH2: don’t leave open
    Aldrich: fifteenth man material
    Leslie: way too raw
    All the rest: pack your bags

  24. hotdamn

    The Good: Timmy’s game winner, Melo’s passing, Barg’s playing within himself and 6/6 from the line, Chandler looking healthy, Metta not punching anyone in the face., Shump (in Clyde’s voice) with the feline quickness and uncanny shooting. Felton — looking like he’s laid off the cheeburger. Beno looked like he has moxy, could be a calming agent on a team that has a few headcases.

    The Bad: Barg’s 3-ball, no time for CDR or Tourre? – hoping they play next game, Leslie looked pretty lost and needs to go to D League.

    The Ugly: Ike, Powell, Lil’ Pipe, (Aldrich although I think he’s the best of the pack that played tonight, hustled for his bball life).

  25. mokers

    I was really down on the THJ pick, but he really does look like he can shoot it. The only time he looked bad was in the scrub time when he appeared to be the number one option. Otherwise, he seemed to stay within the offense.

    I think once Bargs learns the offense, he could be a real addition. He still needs to shoot those 3s every now and then, but he did a great job of getting to the basket. He should get a lot of opportunities to drive in this offense.

    Prigs looked a lot more comfortable in the offense. Liked that he was taking open 3s without hesitating.

    Overall, it looks like the knicks will have a good offense and will be very hard to guard if they can limit turnovers. The team is so deep, they should really be able to manage minutes and games much better this year.

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